(14-16th June) Along the upper reaches of the Yellow River lie a key thoroughfare for ancient traders and explorers, from China to Persia, from the Middle East to Europe. Covering an area of 14,620 square kilometres along the Yellow River, it is strategically located at the southern end of the route leading through the Hexi Corridor across Central Asia. This is where Qilian Mountain ranges extend southwards, where it paves a crucial gateway to Xian, the ancient capital. This place, endowed by the natural protection of such unique environment, is Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu Province.
When General Zhang Qian first passed through chains of treacherous hills and boundless sand dunes to the Western Regions in Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 BC), in his deep heart soared a sole goal. However strenuous to achieve the Emperor’s mission, however long he was enslaved by Xiongnu tribe, nothing could dampen him to continue his journey for thousand miles, to ensure alliance against Xiongnu. Following his diplomatic envoys along the route, commercial relations between China and Central Asia, and hence a transcontinental network, known as Silk Road, blossomed at the end of the 2nd century BC.